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Labour opposes ‘developers’ charter’ with Private Members Bill

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  • 16/07/2021
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Labour opposes ‘developers’ charter’ with Private Members Bill
The Labour Party has brought forward a Private Members Bill that aims to make developers use it or lose it and hand back influence over permitted developments (PDs) to local councils.

 

The Planning and Local Representation Bill opposed aspects of the government’s Planning Bill, which was introduced in the Queen’s Speech in May following a White Paper last year.

The opposition Bill would cut the period developers can wait between planning being granted and construction starting to two years, down from three. Additionally, it would let local councils impose design standards on PDs. 

The Bill’s sponsor Rachel Hopkins, Labour MP for Luton South, said: “We need a bold plan to tackle the housing crisis, but the government’s planning White Paper will restrict local communities’ ability to shape their own area, allow for creation of poor quality housing through PD rights, and allow developers to sit on planning permissions rather than build desperately needed, truly affordable housing.”

She said the government’s Bill “amounts to nothing more than a developers’ charter”.

The Private Members Bill would:

  • Give rights to participate in examination hearings to people who have made representations about development plans;
  • Require public consultation on development proposals; 
  • Grant local authorities rights to apply design standards for PD and to refuse PD proposals that would be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of an individual or community; and
  • Make planning permission for major housing schemes subject to works starting within two years.

The government’s Planning Bill failed to win support from the Housing, Communities and Local Government committee in June.

Labour’s Private Members Bill was brought forward under the Ten Minute Rule, which is a mechanism for getting a bill its first reading in Parliament.

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